The demise of the Cavendish banana is at hand. Yes, the writing is on the wall for the Dwarf Cavendish banana, that curvy and beautifully nature-wrapped yellow potassium punch of perfect snack fruit imported to us from tropical climes. Panama disease, the insidious rot that wiped out the Gros Michel banana back in the 50’s is once again the culprit. 😦
I’ve written about the demise of the banana before it looks like Panama disease has reached Africa now, where many people depend upon the fruit for their livelihoods and where it is a major part of the diet (plantains are a cooking banana). This is not a good situation.
From what I read in Wikipedia, Panama disease TR4 (the disease strain killing off the Cavendish banana) has been around since the 1980’s. The strain that all but wiped out the Gros Michel took 50 years to do so. This strain is also supposed to be more virulent. I’m not holding out much hope of my grand kids being able to enjoy a banana, not without significant cost of importing from overseas at least. 😦
On the bright side, my little Lady Fingers banana pup that was toasted in the greenhouse in a frost, has lived to tell the tale. I potted up Lazarus as he has been named (he did come back from the dead after all) into a black rubbish bin made into a wicking bed looking most sad and sorry and he is currently about 15 inches tall and with several lovely green leaves. I’m still not holding out massive amounts of hope for fruit but if nothing else he looks lovely and green and I may get a pup or 2 from him. 🙂
I think that, same as with humans, if the immune system is boosted, plants can survive disease. Problem is, there’s so much we don’t know about anyone’s or anything’s’ immune system; not to mention that things like air and water pollution may be beyond out ability to change. Still, improving the soil and all that may make a difference.
I love bananas, although here we don’t ever see a name attached to them. But the little ones are so handy!
Best of luck with your Lazarus; may s/he live long and prosper 😉
Monocropping and synthetic treatments for soil and plants can’t have helped but in this case I believe it’s the monocropping that is most at fault here as it has allowed the spread of the disease to be more easily accomplished. Still, you’re not wrong. There is simply too much we don’t understand. 😦
Live long Lazarus. Christmas gifts in the future maybe a banana from Jessie.
We haven’t eaten bananas here for ages because they are very expensive here in Tassie so they won’t be missed by narfs on Serendipity Farm but as you say, if livelihoods and diets are based on something, it’s hard to replace it when it is gone.
My kids love them to bits. Orik would happily eat a whole bunch every day. I have a rule though, 1 banana a day is maximum.
It’s going to destroy many livelihoods here in Australia as I know there are many banana farmers who suffered greatly when Cyclone Yasi went through bt those in Africa depend upon the plantain for survival. It concerns me deeply. 😦
Might be time to get out of narnie growing and into something else methinks…same as all of the poor orange farmers who are going broke and ploughing their trees into the ground because of cheap Chinese imported juice concentrate flooding the market are having to do but at least the narnie growers have advance notice…